“I Can’t Breathe” were the last words of both George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Dunghutti man David Dungay Jr in Long Bay Prison (Sydney, Australia) right before they were murdered at the hands of police.
Five years since his (filmed) murder, not one officer in the footage of David Dungay’s murder has been convicted. In this song DOBBY and BARKAA call for immediate action to bring justice to the families of the 438 Indigenous people who died in police custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths In Custody.
DOBBY Quote “I Can’t Breathe is a song that Australia needs to hear. It’s a direct reflection of our country’s disregard for the health of our indigenous people. The title refers to Dunghutti man David Dungay Jr and George Floyd, both of whom yelled “I Can’t Breathe” right before they were murdered at the hands of police.
After hearing Australian journalist Alexis Daish, of channel Nine’s Today Show, condescendingly telling Californian Black Lives Matter protesters “Australia doesn’t have the understandings of the history of police killings here”, I was inspired to write a response.
The song is a call to action for the justice of Dunghutti man David Dungay Jr and all those who have died at the hands (and neglect) of police whilst in custody.
Not one conviction has been made to this day, for the four-hundred and thirty-eight indigenous deaths in custody, and this count is only since the 1991 Royal Commission inquiry INTO the investigation of Indigenous Deaths in Custody. As a result of the Royal Commission there have been suggested points of action, most of which have still not been considered in our justice system.
Our I Can’t Breathe video really captures that frustration of ignorance felt constantly in our community. There are staunch appearances by some very talented mob, and I’m so thankful to have them all a part of this. The direction and creative vision of Luke Currie-Richardson and Benjamin Ling resulted in a powerful, vibrant music video that screams of urgency.
I’m so grateful to have created this track with sister BARKAA. Her lyricism and flow is unparalleled, and she brings so much fire and light to this story. Her feature in the video is straight up truth!”– DOBBY
The wave of global protests was sparked by the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and we continue to raise our voices for justice for his family. Aboriginal people in this country are the most incarcerated people in the world and know this violence only too well, with 437 deaths in custody since the Royal Commission in 1991 and no police or prison officer held criminally liable.
Dhungutti man David Dungay Jnr was killed in Long Bay jail on 29 December 2015. As his family said in a solidarity statement on June 6:
“Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd. We feel your pain. Watching the video footage of George being murdered by police has been very painful for our family. David Dungay Jnr, our Dunghutti warrior, was killed in exactly the same way.”
Protest Info: I Can’t Breathe – Black Lives Matter – Justice Now!
Date: Tuesday 28th July
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Location: The Domain, SydneyKeep up to date with the protest here: https://facebook.com/events/s/i-cant-breathe-black-lives-mat/745934522844647/?ti=as
CREDITSI CAN’T BREATHE BY DOBBY FT. BARKAASong Credits
Written by Rhyan Clapham and Chloe Quayle
Production by Rhyan Clapham
Mixed and Mastered by Tom Garnett at 301 Studios
DOBBY is a rapper, drummer, speaker and workshop facilitator. Aged 26, he proudly identifies as a Filipino and Aboriginal musician, whose family is from Brewarrina on Ngemba land, and is a member of the Murrawarri Republic in Weilmoringle, NSW. DOBBY is a skilled music composer, and the 2017 recipient for the bi-annual Peter Sculthorpe Fellowship. DOBBY released his self-titled ‘DOBBY’ EP in September 2018, which he wrote and produced. The EP tour (2018/19) took DOBBY worldwide, with shows including BIGSOUND, Sydney Opera House, Bluesfest/ Boomerang Festival, Dancerites, OzAsia Festival (ADL), The Great Escape (UK) New Skool Rules (NL), Indigenous Music Sumit (NOLA), Aussie BBQ (Brighton, London, Berlin) and Reeperbahn Festival (GER).
BARKAA is a young First Nations Malyangapa, Barkindji woman who grew up in South West Sydney.